Category Archives: Carry Ons

Find the latest and greatest carry on information. Airline regulations are constantly changing, so be sure your bags fit the most recent TSA requirements.

Your guide to international carry-on luggage

When traveling in North America which carry-on you need is simple; a domestic carry-on (22’’-14’’-9’’) is accepted by all the major carriers. However, things get murkier when traveling overseas. While many luggage makers sell international carry-ons there are no set carry-on sizes that each airline takes and very few rules regulating sizes overseas.

If you are flying direct overseas or using connecting flights, things nowadays are TP-4071667-01fairly simple. IATA Resolution 302 states that whoever the marketing carrier is (the company that you booked your flight from) their baggage rules must apply to all legs of your trip. So if your ticket says United, American, or any other major US carrier then your domestic carry-on will suffice. If you are booked on a major international carrier, refer to their website and follow their guidelines.

Things get murkier if you have multiple legs of your trip booked separately, especially if you will be using overseas regional jets.  Each regional airline overseas has a different standard for what qualifies for a carry-on and most have weight restrictions that really limit what you can pack in your suitcase. Please make note of any weight restrictions before packing and I recommend always having a luggage scale.

BR-TD445-47So if you are going be using regional overseas carriers you might have to rethink how you pack. My best recommendation is to consider not using a carry-on at all. For example, if you are going for several weeks and using several regional carriers, then a 25’’-26’’ suitcase plus a backpack, tote, or wheeled tote might be a perfect solution for you. You will have to check a bag either way so a smaller personal bag might be all you need to keep emergency items in.

For student’s studying overseas I really like convertible backpacks, especially ones without wheels. They can be carried either like a LGR-LG43-BLK_4backpack or a shoulder bag and have cinches that allow the bag to be adjusted to your specific needs and they usually weigh less then wheeled bags. My current favorite is the Lite-Gear Travel Pack. It can hold as much as a conventional carry-on and only weighs two pounds.

Finally, as always, less is more when it comes to packing for your overseas trip. Consider taking less then you usually pack, especially when it comes to shoes and accessories. You will be doing a lot of walking so plan on taking your most comfortable and easy to use clothing and shoes. The good news is planning for your trip in advance will help avoid nasty surprises on your trip, and that is something we all can appreciate.

 

First look: New Briggs & Riley Transcend

When people find out you work for a luggage store their first question usually is, what is your favorite brand of luggage? While we love all brands here at Irv’s Luggage, there always been a soft spot for Briggs & Riley. Not only are they popular with both our employees and our customers, but they are Consumer Reports top rated luggage company. They are the only line of bags to offer such features the Simple As That warranty and an outside pull handle for easy packing. Now for 2017, they have redesigned their Transcend line of luggage.BR-TU422VX-46

So what is different in these new models? In one word; EVERYTHING. Traditionally, the Transcend series was a simple, no frills case for a casual traveler. Now this series has moved upscale. The most obvious change for this new model are new colors (rainforest, merlot, and slate) and a squared off shape. This gives their cases a more modern and luxurious look. This theme is continued inside with an upgraded tan interior that replaces the utilitarian gray color.

However, the biggest change is the redesigned expansion system. Briggs & Riley has gotten rid of the zippered expansion system and replaced it with their new VX variable expansion system. This system uses Velcro to allow the consumer to adjust the expansion to fit their items, rather than a zipper system which is either open or closed. No other luggage manufacturer has a system like this; it is truly one of a kind.br fbr ebr g

Another unique feature that Briggs & Riley offers is matching accessories. Most brands offer maybe a tote and a wheeled tote. However, Briggs has expanded their Transcend accessories to include wheeled totes, a shopping tote, toiletry kits, and new for 2017 a cabin bag and backpacks. All these accessories are available in all three colors and easily fit over the handle of all of their bags. These are must-have items when purchasing your new Briggs.br a

While the Briggs & Riley Baseline series is still the choice for the business traveler, the new Transcend series is a great choice for the frequent leisure traveler looking for a quality bag that is fashion forward. With all these new features it is one of our top sellers. Check out our website today to see all the sizes and styles or stop by one of our stores in Mt. Prospect or Northbrook, IL for a product demonstration. Once you own a Briggs & Riley you will be a loyal for life.

College Luggage and Backpack guide

It’s the time of year every parent dreads; sending your kid off to college. First-time students will need items like backpacks, duffels, and other travel items. All this packing might seem overwhelming at first. However, a bit of planning can prevent the dreaded last-minute panic. Below is a handy guide of what you might need for the new college student.

Backpacks

A backpack in college can serve a very different function than they did in high school. TNF-CHK3-SSWThe days of having to carry all your books and lunch to school are over. The college student won’t have to carry as many books but they probably will want to carry a laptop to class and study groups. Make sure that any backpack you buy has a padded compartment for a laptop. The North Face backpacks have been popular with college students for many years, and still standard issue at many college campuses. For most fashionable students, brands such as Kipling or Knomo might fit their style. For the student who wants to major in business, backpacks that are designed for professional use will be perfect to use for internships and job hunting.

The Weekend

One famous college tradition that hasn’t changed in many years is the road trip. Students will need a bag for coming home or visiting friends at other college campuses. Weekender bags are very popular because they are lightweight and because their designs can hold lots of clothing and accessories. Small, non-wheeled duffels are popular too because of their structured look and durability. If a student will be mostly traveling by plane to get home a carry-on suitcase might be a more practical idea.

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Getting There and Back

If you are going by car then boxes and large duffel bags will suffice. However, if your student will be flying back and forth to school things get trickier. Wheeled duffels are a popular item due to their easy storage (they will fit under most beds). Luggage can be used too but take up more room in small dorm rooms. The next question is size. Duffel bags 34’’ and smaller usually will work with airline regulations as long as they are less than 50 pounds. Larger sized and overweight bags will usually incur extra costs so be careful if you are trying to minimize costs.

Final Thoughts

When I first went off to college over 25 years ago, my family and I had to buy and pack everything I would need to furnish my dorm room. With the advent of the internet and e-commerce now, things can be ordered beforehand and shipped to the school on the day they will arrive. This will save you from having to physically bring everything and speed up the moving process. Sometimes things do change for the better.

How to use a spinner suitcase

Since the early 1980’s the rollerboard (2 wheel) suitcase has been the industry standard. However, in recent years more and more suitcases have switched to a spinner (4 wheel) design. Some brands, such as Samsonite and Delsey,  are now almost exclusively spinners while others, such as Travelpro and Briggs & Riley, continue to offer both.

Spinner wheels have become popular for one main reason; the ease of maneuverability. Rather than pulling the case, spinners are designed to be rolled alongside you. When properly used, a spinner case will take the weight off your back and shoulders. However, I often see people with the retractable handle at the wrong height or pulling the case. This defeats the purpose of a spinner and can cause your wheels to wear out faster and unevenly.

If you are new to spinner cases, take the time to practice walking with your new bag. Stand next to the case by your dominant arm (either right or left) and put the handle at waist height and walk with it, making sure all 4 wheels are on the ground. It should feel like walking a pet. Putting the handle too high puts stress on your shoulder so make sure the handle height feels comfortable.

Spinner cases have been a lifesaver for people with physical issues. However, they do have their drawbacks. They work very well on flat surfaces but when it comes to uneven terrain they do get harder to maneuver. You might have to pull it when walking on sidewalks and streets. In addition, with a carry-on size you do tend to lose an inch of packing space because the airlines account for the wheels in their carry on measurements. Also, if your case has an add-a-bag strap and you hang a heavy bag on it, the case could tip over. Lastly, because of the design of the bag, the wheels are more exposed and they could be knocked off by the airlines (doesn’t happen often but it does happen).

With the carry-on size, I still prefer a rollerboard design. I like having the maximum interior space, and because it is smaller, I don’t find the 2 wheels hard to maneuver. When it comes to larger check-in sizes I am more neutral. When full they do get heavy and hard to move, and walking distances (like clearing customs) after a long trip you will be happy to have a spinner. My best advice is to come to a store and try one out for a “test drive” then take one home and do a practice pack and walk around your house with your case. Only then will you know for sure if a spinner is right for you.

NEW SPIRIT AIRLINES GUIDELINES:WHAT TO KNOW

Budget airlines, ah the headache. Tight seats, no frills, and strict baggage guidelines. To make things worse, now Spirit Airlines is changing their guidelines for a personal item once again. Gone is the 16”x14”x12” sizing and now starting on April 4, 2017 the new size will be 18”x14”x8”. The downside is your old bag might now be useless and you will be losing 2’’ of packing space. The upside is now Spirit and Frontier Airlines have the same standards for personal items.

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The dilemma is whether to purchase this new sized bag or use a conventional carry-on and pay the extra fees. Several factors will come into play. For example, how often do you fly these budget airlines? Also, how many days will your trip be? If you are going to be flying these airlines  more than a few times a year and for short trips (1-2 days) then investing in a new personal sized bag might be a good idea. However, if you are only going to be using the bag once or if your trip will require a few changes of clothes then this personal sized bag might not work for you.

If you are going to be using a full sized carry-on for your trip, make sure to build the cost of that for that into your trip. The cheapest time to pay for the baggage fees when you book your trip. For example, if airline A’s round-trip flight is $350 including a carry-on bag and airline B’s is $300 but will cost $35 for a carry-on each way then the real cost of airline B’s ticket is $370. So, you would end up paying more for that budget ticket.

One last tip is that sometimes it is cheaper to check a bag than carry-on according to Spirit Airline’s website. If you aren’t in a hurry this might be a great way to save a few dollars. Just make sure to take a small backpack or tote with emergency items…. just in case.

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Lightweight Luggage

IT-0935A091929-S001There is a huge selection of luggage on the market today. Not only are there many different brands, there are also a vast number of styles and features. It sometimes is hard to choose, the options are many: luxury, fashion, hard side, soft side, two wheeled, spinners, and lightweight luggage (to name a few). It is a little overwhelming to say the least but at some point you are going to have to decide what is the most important feature before buying that next piece of luggage.

“Lightweight” happens to be a huge selling point in the industry right now with all the extra fees airlines are  charging for checked bags. Lightweight is also a very important feature if you have a bad back or a screwed up neck or travel so much that you do not want to end up with one. The bottom line, if you are one of those travelers where every ounce counts when it comes to your bag, lightweight might just be that “most important” feature and it’s time to check out International Traveller’s World’s Lightest Luggage!

IT’s World’s Lightest Luggage comes in many different sizes and colors but all of the bags are made with the patented design that includes an incredibly strong fiber-glass structure and a sturdy high-tensile exterior fabric. These uprights have broad, easy-grip locking handles and internal floor compartments that lie flat for maximum packing space (a rarity for most bags on the market today). Each of the bags also have a large front pocket that provides extra storage space and top and side handles that make them easy to lift. Maneuverability is also a breeze with the smooth and quiet eight wheel spinner design.

Think of it as practicing preventative and fiscally responsible travel, try the world’s lightest luggage today!

What’s in a Carry on?

What are the odds they’ll lose my luggage?

It’s only a two…three… hour delay.

We’re just going to circle for ten minutes.

We’ve all been there and heard that before. We’ve stood around bag claim watching that same blue duffel make its rounds on the conveyor belt. Yours has to be the next one. An hour later- no such luck. So much of traveling is never in our control. The one thing that always is? Your carry on. Take an extra 15 minutes and put some effort into it. You will not regret it. To help out, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of items you should always have in that carry on bag.

  1. Complete change of clothes. Complete. As in: top, bottom, socks and undergarments.
  2. Chargers. We’re talking phones, iPads, tablets, kindles, computers, shavers. Let’s be honest- your phone dying just might be worse than losing your luggage.
  3. Headphones. The baby crying behind you. The grandparents in front of you bragging about their grandson: he’s a doctor, you know. You need to plug in and block it out.
  4. Toothbrush & toothpaste. Enough said.
  5. Face wipes. Whether it’s a long or short flight, nothing feels more refreshing than being able to clean up a little bit.
  6. Big comfy scarf. Airplanes are always freezing. Always. Wrap up and settle in. Plus, it works as in instant outfit update.
  7. Meds. Not worth the risk of losing them in your luggage. Get them all, too. Sleeping aids, cough relievers, daily vitamins.
  8. Eye necessities. You have 20/20 vision? Great. But for the rest of us, we need our eye drops, glasses and an extra pair of contacts. Nothing worse than waking up from a nap in the sky and blinking out a contact without a spare.
  9. Gum. Your ears will thank you.
  10. Wild card reward. This looks different for everyone. For my best friend, it’s a piece of chocolate. For me, it’s my lucky heart shaped crystal. Throw in something small that makes you smile. Maybe it will help you through some rough turbulence. Maybe it will help you stay calm before meeting his family. No matter the case, you deserve a little treat.

Now that you have everything you need to go in the bag, do you have a quality carry on? We’ll help you out with that, too.